In Q1 of 2015, Solgen Energy installed a 151kW solar power systems at the Mater Dei School in Camden. This school provides vital therapy services to its students with developmental and intellectual disabilities, instilling confidence and providing them with key life skills.

When the bills to power their hydrotherapy pool began adding up, Mater Dei knew they needed a sustainable solution to cut down the vast energy consumption associated with its operations.

With the help of a Federal grant of $328 709, made possible from the combined efforts of the Federal Member for Macarthur, Russell Matheson, and the Department of Infrastructure and Development, Solgen Energy was awarded the 151kW solar power project to bring a sustainable source of electricity to the Good Samaritan school.

With the 1 year anniversary of the solar power system fast approaching, we thought we’d take a look at just how much energy production has occurred as a result of power from the sun.

mater-dei-solar-opening-hydrotherapy-pool

Almost a year ago, the project was completed. Consisting of almost 600 solar panels across three roof surfaces, the solar power system has saved the school more than $35,000.

In addition to this, the solar power system installed by Solgen Energy will help offset a significant amount of CO2 emissions, and reduce the schools reliance on fossil fuel based energy.

Through the SMA Sunny Portal, a web based monitoring platform, the school is able to access highly detailed monitoring for the system, including their daily generation data (See Figure 1 below):

sunnyportal

Figure 1 Example of a month’s generation data from Mater Dei School.

 

To date, the entire solar panel array has offset 112 tonnes of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of:

  • 23.6 passenger vehicles driven for one year,
  • 54,567.6 kilograms of coal burned,
  • And 15.4 home’s electricity use for one year.

With high daytime energy consumption schools are great candidates for solar power, and the system installed at Mater Dei is no exception. It provides a significant amount of monetary savings that can be utilised for other vital curriculum activities.

CEO and principal of Mater Dei, Tony Fitzgerald, stated, “The power we are generating via this project is a significant cost saving of approximately $40,000 per annum. That money can be invested in staff. It would be the equivalent of one teacher for two days per week, a teacher’s assistant four days per week, or a speech therapist two days per week.

I would also like to thank project installer Solgen Energy, who provided a remarkable design solution that is a perfect fit for our organisation.

To read the full Mater Dei solar project case study, please click here.

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